Adding value to commercial, retail, and multi-family construction projects is essential for maintaining profitability. But cost savings that impact schedules and quality don’t make for wins. With the right expertise, exterior glazing subcontracts are proven opportunities that can deliver high-quality performance and cost savings with value engineering.
The glazing industry is rapidly innovating constructability as performance standards continue to push forward architectural design trends. More products are entering the market and fabrication and install methods are advancing. A savvy glazing supplier who speaks glazing and construction can help nail the ‘goldilocks’ specification zone that achieves job cost savings while maintaining project integrity.
Here are three strategies to put to work.
Hardware typically is the largest glazing line item as it can account for up to 20% of glazing contracts. It’s also an area that is most often over-specified. We estimate that nearly three quarters of all our glazing jobs save money on hardware while still getting great finished products. Substituting electrified panic devices for electric strikes or choosing black anodized finishes over painted finishes in low use areas are just a few opportunities.
Glazer Tip: Categorize your hardware spec list into high and low use areas.
- Metal and Doors Systems
Many metal and door suppliers offer similar functionalities and quality, but lead times and pricing can fluctuate according to backlogs and project timing. Look for a glazing contractor who asks questions about your project’s specific end-use functionality. In return, ask the glazer questions about the number suppliers they have on-going relationships with.
Glazer Tip: Understand the metal and door system submarket during design and buy out.
- Curtain Wall Systems
Curtain walls are impressive but also come with premium price tags. During plan reviews, we’ve calculated that certain combinations of building size plus glass coverage did not generate enough energy savings to justify the high cost of the curtain wall specification. By value engineering a window wall, storefront glazing configuration in lieu of a curtain wall system, we’ve been able to maintain the project’s thermal efficiency performance as well as the ‘curtain wall’ aesthetic with significant cost savings. Adjusting building heights by a few feet, shaving off an inch from glazing systems, or splitting large windows into two with bisected beams have all reaped rewards.
Glazer Tip: Calculate the thermal efficiencies of the curtain wall specifications.
Choosing a glass and glazing subcontractor who understands your business as well as glazing supply chains, product performance, and fabrication processes will better inform your project decisions and increase project value.
Bringing them in early on in the estimating phase can also increase your bid’s overall competitiveness. Look for a glazer with longevity who has worked across industries with a variety of builders.
Trust our expertise
Minneapolis Glass is a woman-owned glass fabricator and glazing contractor that innovates manufacturing and installation processes to make business a little bit easier and a lot more predictable. Our 80+ years of craftsmanship ensures the best fit and function. Integrated technology automates production, planning, and project management for fewer surprises and faster fixes. Continuous feedback loops and insights deliver great glass and exceptional experiences. At Minneapolis Glass, we manufacture better business.